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12.07.09

Patent Imperialism Threatens Europe

Posted in Europe, Free/Libre Software, Law, Microsoft, Patents at 9:29 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Roman soldier

Summary: The loophole which Microsoft front groups like ACT have been lobbying for is close to becoming a reality

FREE software is currently under legal attack in Europe [1, 2]. Glyn Moody, a Brit, writes: “EU moves towards common patent system – http://bit.ly/7JOHcY now watch them sneak in software patents…”

Here is the corresponding reference from the BBC:

European ministers say they have agreed on a plan to introduce a common EU-wide patent system that could save companies millions of euros.

Sweden’s foreign ministry says industry ministers reached a deal on the main elements of the EU patent and setting up a single European Patent Court.

Gemstar’s appalling patent strategy is one that we wrote about in [1, 2, 3, 4]. Gemstar has not been successful in the UK so far, but it is going to appeal. Any EU-wide patent system would possibly help Gemstar impose its patent abuse on British companies, even without a challenge in court. What has this system sunk to? Here is some more information about this “enhanced” system.

Today was the final day of the 2982nd Competitiveness (Internal market, Industry and Research) EU Council meeting and, as expected, some important political signal was sent out.

In particular, the EU Council has agreed on a number of conclusions on the main features of the European and EU Patents Court. On the EU patent they should form part of the overall final agreement on a package of measures for an Enhanced Patent System in Europe comprising the creation of a European and EU Patents Court (EEUPC), an EU patent, including the separate regulation on certain special translation arrangements, an Enhanced Partnership between the European Patent Office and central industrial property offices of Member States and, to the extent necessary, amendments to the European Patent Convention (EPC).

While it is marketed as a positive thing, the reality is very much the opposite. It’s a possibility for one country (or corporocracy) to expand ludicrous laws like DMCA to the rest of the world. ACTA has a similar effect [1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13].

“Small Software companies cannot afford to go to court or pay damages. Who is this software patent system for?” —Marco Schulze, Nightlabs Gmbh

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